Petrofac Training Cup: FORFAR 0 DUNFERMLINE 3: 18/08/15
both teams unchanged starting elevens; Michael Moffat (32 pen.) 0-1; Faissal El Bakhtaoui (44) 0-2; Michael Moffat (82) 0-3;
After scoring 22 goals in their first four competitive matches, Dunfermline travelled to Station Park Forfar for the Second Round tie in the Petrofac Training Cup. Both teams were unchanged from Saturday and given they scored eleven goals between them so this was a match that had all the makings of a great contest.
Heavy rain during the afternoon dampened the playing surface and there was a good travelling support hoping to see their team win in Forfar for the first time since February 2014. The Loons kicked off and Sean Murdoch was the first keeper to get involved but there was nothing to unduly trouble him in his early touches.
Rab Douglas' first touch was from a sixth minute free kick after Faissal El Bakhtaoui launched a shot from distance well over the bar. Next minute however the former Scotland keeper had to save a fine shot from Joe Cardle after El Bakhtaoui had made a lightening run.
In nine minutes Cardle caught a Shaun Byrne pass, controlled the ball to get inside Mark Baxter but his pass through the penalty box was just too far ahead of El Bakhtaoui for him to catch. Thomas O'Brien earned a word from referee Crawford Allan for his challenge on the pink booted Pars striker and the free kick from half way just evaded Ben Richards-Everton.
The Fifers kept up the pressure with Michael Moffat's 13th minute run picking out El Bakhtaoui but his shot was blocked. Byrne to Paton to Cardle as the Pars built up a final ball to Moffat but that was intercepted in the home box.
First corner for Dunfermline was earned by Lewis Martin in 19 minutes and although Callum Fordyce missed a header attempt at the near post El Bakhtaoui got away a shot only for Kevin Nicoll to block. Then Cardle was allowed a lot of wriggle room in the Forfar box and he teed up a great chance for Byrne but his blast rose all the way to clear the woodwork at the right post.
El Bakhtaoui had another attempt that went behind for a corner. He next forced another corner and this time Fordyce put it over. Forfar had their moments moving play on swiftly but O'Brien caught Byrne as El Bakhtaoui was tumbled as well and in 27 minutes the former Cowdenbeath centre half was shown the first card of the match.
Michael Moffat broke through the middle in 31 minutes and Kevin Nicoll's last man tackle took him down. Crawford Allan pointed to the spot and then showed the Forfar centre back a red card. MOFFAT assumed responsibility and stroked the ball low into the bottom left for 1-0.
The sending off riled the home support and they questioned every decision. Loons captain was encouraged to obviously say the wrong thing to the referee and he was next to see yellow. Three minutes from the break Derek Young's name followed into the book for his challenge on Byrne.
Just before the break good patient possession ended up with Michael Paton delivering a great cross that EL BAKHTAOUI headed home. 0-2
So as Dunfermline went in at the break with a two goal lead Rab Douglas was shown yellow for saying something untowards to referee Allan. The stats showed 54% possession but it felt like much more. The Pars having had 9 shots to Forfar's none.
Forfar Athletic 0 Dunfermline Athletic 2
David Hopkirk replaced Joe Cardle before the restart and it was not long before Ryan Wallace replaced Faissal El Bakhtaoui as well. Bryan Hodge got in a shot for Forfar before a Hopkirk corner was played deep for Paton to try a shot but a Forfar defender stooped to head the ball away. Byrne's 58th minute shot yielded another corner this time on the right but that created no danger.
On the hour Williamson tried to get on the scoresheet cutting in from the right to aim a left footed shot to the keeper's right but he held it. Byrne next threaded the ball into the left side of the box and he stabbed the ball past Douglas only for Travis to clear off the line.
Paton dug in to fend off the challenge of three opponents and pick out Moffat. The striker switched it left for Wallace but he hit his shot outside the near post. Josh Falkingham then came on for Paton and he was soon to be on the end of a good Hopkirk cross created out of his speed down the left, but Douglas headed Josh's header over for another corner.
Paton dug in to fend off the challenge of three opponents and pick out Moffat. The striker switched it left for Wallace but he hit his shot outside the near post. Josh Falkingham then came on for Paton and he was soon to be on the end of a good Hopkirk cross created out of his speed down the left, but Douglas tipped Josh's header over for another corner.
In 76 minutes the Pars sub was incredibly unlucky yet again, drawing his man in the Forfar box he sent a left footed shot past Douglas but back off the left upright into the keeper's hands.
Murdoch was forced to tip an O'Brien cross cum shot over his crossbar and Hodge did blast a free kick over the top but Falkingham was then presented with a great opportunity but his shot was blocked by Hodge.
Williamson was to provide the cross that created the Pars third goal in 82 minutes. MOFFAT gathered and pinged the ball past Douglas from 12 yards out. 0-3
Falkingham caught offside on a Geggan pass wide and as the Pars finished strongly Ryan Williamson was caught badly in 87 minutes by Forfar sub Michael Dunlop and was stretchered off with a suspected broken leg at his shin. A really sad sight and one could only hope that his injury is not as bad as the last time he was carried off with a dislocated knee cap.
The tie was won when it all ended badly. Ryan had to wait until an ambulance arrived at 10.00pm to take him for x-rays at Ninewells in Dundee.
FORFAR ATHLETIC: Rab Douglas; Mark Baxter (Michael Dunlop 54), Kevin Nicoll, Thomas O'Brien, Iain Campbell; Martyn Fotheringham, Derek Young, Bryan Hodge, Danny Denholm (Michael Travis 35); Gavin Swankie, Chris Templeman (Kerr Hay 64).
SUBS NOT USED: Craig Smith, Gavin Malin, James Yates, Jason King (GK)
YELLOW CARD: O'Brien (27), Swankie (37), Young (42), Douglas (HT), Baxter (52)
RED CARD: Nicoll (31)
DUNFERMLINE: Sean Murdoch; Ryan Williamson, Callum Fordyce (c), Ben Richards-Everton, Lewis Martin; Michael Paton (Josh Falkingham 65), Shaun Byrne, Andy Geggan, Joe Cardle (David Hopkirk HT); Michael Moffat, Faissal El Bakhtaoui (Ryan Wallace 54).
SUBS NOT USED: Jason Talbot, Lewis Spence, John Potter, David Hutton (GK).
SCORERS: Moffat (32 pen., 82), El Bakhtaoui (44)
YELLOW CARD: Martin (49), Wallace (92)
REFEREE: Crawford Allan
WEATHER: Dull 14C
Pre Season Friendly v Hibernian, Thursday 6th July 2017, kick off 7.45pm